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1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS Introduction The term “integrated photonics” refers to the fabrication and integration of several photonic components on a common planar substrate. These components include beam splitters, gratings, couplers, polarisers, interferometers, sources and detectors, among others. In turn, these can then be used as building blocks to fabricate more complex planar devices which can perform a wide range of functions with applications in opti- cal communication systems, CATV, instrumentation and sensors. The setting-up of integrated photonic technology can be considered as the confluence of several pho- tonic disciplines (dealing with the control of light by electrons and vice versa) with waveguide technology. In fact, optical waveguides are the key element of integrated photonic devices that perform not only guiding, but also coupling, switching, splitting, multiplexing and demultiplexing of optical signals. In this chapter we will introduce the main characteristics of integrated photonic technology, showing relevant aspects concerning material and fabrication technologies. Also, we will briefly describe some basic components present in integrated photonic devices, emphasising the differences in their design compared to conventional optics. Some examples of integrated photonic devices (passive, functional, active and non-linear) are given at the end of the chap- ter to show the elegant solution that this technology proposes for the development of advanced optical devices. 1.1 Integrated Photonics Optics can be defined as the branch of physical science which deals with the genera- tion and propagation of light and its interaction with matter. Light, the main subject of optics, is electromagnetic (EM) radiation in the wavelength range extending from the vacuum ultraviolet (UV) at about 50 nanometers to the far infrared (IR) at 1 mm. In spite of being a very ancient science, already studied by the founder of the School of Alexandria, Euclid, in his Optics (280 BC), during the last quarter of the past century, the science of optics has suffered a spectacular renaissance, due to various key devel- opments. The first revolutionary event in modern optics was, no doubt, the invention of the laser by T.H. Maiman in 1960 at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu [1], which allowed the availability of coherent light sources with exceptional properties,

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Page 1: INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS · INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS Introduction The term “integrated photonics” refers to the fabrication and integration of several

1INTRODUCTION TO

INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

Introduction

The term “integrated photonics” refers to the fabrication and integration of severalphotonic components on a common planar substrate. These components include beamsplitters, gratings, couplers, polarisers, interferometers, sources and detectors, amongothers. In turn, these can then be used as building blocks to fabricate more complexplanar devices which can perform a wide range of functions with applications in opti-cal communication systems, CATV, instrumentation and sensors. The setting-up ofintegrated photonic technology can be considered as the confluence of several pho-tonic disciplines (dealing with the control of light by electrons and vice versa) withwaveguide technology. In fact, optical waveguides are the key element of integratedphotonic devices that perform not only guiding, but also coupling, switching, splitting,multiplexing and demultiplexing of optical signals. In this chapter we will introducethe main characteristics of integrated photonic technology, showing relevant aspectsconcerning material and fabrication technologies. Also, we will briefly describe somebasic components present in integrated photonic devices, emphasising the differencesin their design compared to conventional optics. Some examples of integrated photonicdevices (passive, functional, active and non-linear) are given at the end of the chap-ter to show the elegant solution that this technology proposes for the development ofadvanced optical devices.

1.1 Integrated Photonics

Optics can be defined as the branch of physical science which deals with the genera-tion and propagation of light and its interaction with matter. Light, the main subject ofoptics, is electromagnetic (EM) radiation in the wavelength range extending from thevacuum ultraviolet (UV) at about 50 nanometers to the far infrared (IR) at 1 mm. Inspite of being a very ancient science, already studied by the founder of the School ofAlexandria, Euclid, in his Optics (280 BC), during the last quarter of the past century,the science of optics has suffered a spectacular renaissance, due to various key devel-opments. The first revolutionary event in modern optics was, no doubt, the inventionof the laser by T.H. Maiman in 1960 at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu [1],which allowed the availability of coherent light sources with exceptional properties,

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2 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

such as high spatial and temporal coherence and very high brightness. A second majorstep forward came with the development of semiconductor optical devices for thegeneration and detection of light, which permitted very efficient and compact opto-electronic devices. The last push was given by the introduction of new fabricationtechniques for obtaining very cheap optical fibres, with very low propagation losses,close to the theoretical limits (Figure 1.1).

As a result of these new developments and associated with other technologies, such aselectronics, new disciplines have appeared connected with optics: electro-optics, opto-electronics, quantum electronics, waveguide technology, etc. Thus, classical optics,initially dealing with lenses, mirrors, filters, etc., has been forced to describe a newfamily of much more complex devices such as lasers, semiconductor detectors, lightmodulators, etc. The operation of these devices must be described in terms of opticsas well as of electronics, giving birth to a mixed discipline called photonics. This newdiscipline emphasises the increasing role that electronics play in optical devices, andalso the necessity of treating light in terms of photons rather than waves, in particularin terms of matter–light interactions (optical amplifiers, lasers, semiconductor devices,etc.). If electronics can be considered as the discipline that describes the flow ofelectrons, the term “photonics” deals with the control of photons. Nevertheless, thesetwo disciplines clearly overlap in many cases, because photons can control the flux ofelectrons, in the case of detectors, for example, and electrons themselves can determinethe properties of light propagation, as in the case of semiconductor lasers or electro-optic modulators.

The emergence of novel photonic devices, as well as resulting in the importantconnection between optics and electronics, has given rise to other sub-disciplines withinphotonics. These new areas include electro-optics, opto-electronics, quantum optics,quantum electronics and non-linear optics, among others. Electro-optics deals withthe study of optical devices in which the electrical interaction plays a relevant role incontrolling the flow of light, such as electro-optic modulators, or certain types of lasers.Acousto-optics is the science and technology concerned with optical devices controlledby acoustic waves, driven by piezo-electric transducers. Systems which involve light

10−4

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106Ancient Egypt

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19991990190010000−4000

Theoretical limit

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Figure 1.1 Evolution of the attenuation in silica glasses. In the 1980s the dramatic drop in theattenuation coincides with the boom of the optical fibre systems, thanks to the implementationof new fabrication techniques

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1.1 INTEGRATED PHOTONICS 3

but are mainly electronic fall under opto-electronics; these systems are in most casessemiconductor devices, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), semiconductor lasersand semiconductor-based detectors (photodiodes). The term quantum electronics isused in connection with devices and systems that are based on the interaction oflight and matter, such as optical amplifiers and wave-mixing. The quantum nature oflight and its coherence properties are studied in quantum optics, and the processesthat involve non-linear responses of the optical media are covered by the disciplinecalled non-linear optics. Finally, some applied disciplines emerging from these areasinclude optical communications, image and display systems, optical computing, opticalsensing, etc. In particular, the term waveguide technology is used to describe devicesand systems widely used in optical communications as well as in optical computing,optical processing and optical sensors.

A clear example of an emergent branch of optics that combines some of the abovedisciplines is the field of integrated optics, or more precisely, integrated photonics.We consider integrated photonics to be constituted by the combining of waveguidetechnology (guided optics) with other disciplines, such as electro-optics, acousto-optics,non-linear optics and opto-electronics (Figure 1.2). The basic idea behind integratedphotonics is the use of photons instead of electrons, creating integrated optical circuitssimilar to those in conventional electronics. The term “integrated optics”, first proposedin 1960 by S.E. Miller [2], was introduced to emphasise the similarity between planaroptical circuits technology and the well-established integrated micro-electronic circuits.The solution proposed by Miller was to fabricate integrated optical circuits througha process in which various elements, passive as well as active, were integrated in asingle substrate, combining and interconnecting them via small optical transmissionlines called waveguides. Clearly, integrating multiple optical functions in a singlephotonic device is a key step towards lowering the costs of advanced optical systems,including optical communication networks.

The optical elements present in integrated photonic devices should include basiccomponents for the generation, focusing, splitting, junction, coupling, isolation, polar-isation control, switching, modulation, filtering and light detection, ideally all of them

Integrated photonics

Waveguide technology

Opto-electronics

Acousto-optics

Electro-optics

Non-linear optics

Figure 1.2 Confluence of various disciplines into integrated photonics

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4 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

being integrated in a single optical chip. Channel waveguides are used for the intercon-nection of the various optical elements. The main goal pursued by integrated photonicsis therefore the miniaturisation of optical systems, similar to the way in which inte-grated electronic circuits have miniaturised electronic devices, and this is possiblethanks to the small wavelength of the light, which permits the fabrication of circuitsand compact photonic devices with sizes of the order of microns. The integration ofmultiple functions within a planar optical structure can be achieved by means of pla-nar lithographic production [3]. Although lithographic fabrication of photonic devicesrequires materials different from those used in microelectronics, the processes are basi-cally the same, and the techniques well established from 40 years of semiconductorproduction are fully applicable. Indeed, a lithographic system for fabricating photoniccomponents uses virtually the same set of tools as in electronics: exposure tools, masks,photoresists, and all the pattern transfer process from mask to resist and then to device.

1.2 Brief History of Integrated Photonics

For 30 years after the invention of the transistor, the processing and transmissionof information were based on electronics that used semiconductor devices for con-trolling the electron flux. But at the beginning of the 1980s, electronics was slowlysupplemented by and even replaced by optics, and photons substituted for electrons asinformation carriers. Nowadays, photonic and opto-electronic devices based on inte-grated photonic circuits have grown in such a way that they not only clearly dominatelong-distance communications through optical fibres, but have also opened up newfields of application, such as sensor devices, and are also beginning to penetrate in theown field of the information processing technology. In fact, the actual opto-electronicdevices may be merely a transition to a future of all-optical computation and commu-nication systems.

The history of integrated photonics is analogous to that of other related technologies:discovery, fast evolution of the devices, and a long waiting time for applications [4].The first optical waveguides, fabricated at the end of the 1960s, were bidimensionaldevices on planar substrates. In the mid-1970s the successful operation of tridimen-sional waveguides was demonstrated in a wide variety of materials, from glasses tocrystals and semiconductors. For the fabrication of functional devices in waveguidegeometries, lithium niobate (LiNbO3) was rapidly recognised as one of the mostpromising alternatives. The waveguide fabrication in LiNbO3 via titanium in-diffusionwas demonstrated at the AT&T Bell Laboratory, and gave rise to the developmentof channel waveguides with very low losses in a material that possesses valuableelectro-optic and acousto-optic effects. In the mid-1980s the viability of waveguidedevices based on LiNbO3, such as integrated intensity modulators of up to 40 GHz,and with integration levels of up to 50 switches in a single photonic chip had alreadybeen demonstrated in laboratory experiments. A few years later, the standard pack-aging required in telecommunication systems was obtained, and so the devices wereready to enter the market. The rapid boom of monomode optical fibre systems whichstarted in the 1980s was the perfect niche market for these advanced integrated pho-tonic devices that were waiting in the research laboratories. Indeed, the demand forincreased transmission capacity (bandwidth) calls urgently for new integrated photonicchips that permit the control and processing of such huge data transfer, in particular

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1.2 BRIEF HISTORY OF INTEGRATED PHOTONICS 5

with the introduction of technology to transmit light in multiple wavelengths (WDM,wavelength division multiplexing).

Because of the parallel development of other materials, both dielectrics such aspolymers, glasses or silica on silicon (SiO2/Si), and semiconductors such as indiumphosphide (InP), gallium arsenide (GaAs) or even silicon (Si), a wide variety of noveland advanced integrated photonic devices was ready to emerge on the market. Duringthe last two decades of the twentieth century we have moved from the developmentof the new concept of integrated optical devices to a huge demand for such noveldevices to implement sophisticated functions, mainly in the optical communicationtechnology market. In fact, at the beginning of the twenty-first century the data transfercreated by computer-based business processes and by Internet applications is growingexponentially, which translates into a demand for increasing transmission capacityat lower cost, which can only be met by increased use of optical fibre and associatedadvanced photonic technologies (Figure 1.3). Today fibres are typically used to transmitbit-rates up to 10 Gbit/s, which is, however, far below the intrinsic bandwidth of anoptical fibre. Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) (the transmission of severalsignals through a single fibre using several wavelengths) paves the way to transmitinformation over an optical fibre in a much more efficient way, by combining several10 Gbit/s signals on a single fibre. Today there are commercial WDM systems availablewith bit-rates in the range of 40 to 400 Gbit/s, obtained by combining a large number of2.5 and 10 Gbit/s signal, and using up to 32 different wavelengths. The next frontierin data transfer capacity points to the Terabit transmission, which can be achievedby using Time Domain Multiplexing (TDM), an obvious multiplexing technique fordigital signals. An equivalent of TDM in the optical domain (OTDM) is also beingdeveloped with the purpose of reaching much higher bit-rates which will require thegeneration and transmission of very short pulses, in the order of picoseconds, anddigital processing in the optical domain. Clearly, all these technologies will requirehighly advanced optical components, and integrated photonic devices based on planarlightwave circuits are the right choice to meet the high performance levels required,which allow the integration of multiple functions in a single substrate (Table 1.1).

Telephonic link60 Kb/s

Television service10 Mb/s

Satelite100 Mb/s

Telegraphic link50 b/s

Coaxial cable10 Mb/s

Optical fibre40 Gb/s

Requirements Technologies

Serial RS232communication

10 Kb/s

Figure 1.3 Requirements for data transfer and available technologies

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6 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

Table 1.1 Integrated optics mar-ket in 2001 by material type [5]

Material %

Lithium niobate 30Indium phosphide 22Gallium arsenide 20Silica on silicon 11Polymer 5Silicon 3Other 9TOTAL 100

1.3 Characteristics of the Integrated PhotonicComponents

The basic idea behind the use of photons rather than electrons to create integratedphotonic circuits is the high frequency of light (200 THz), which allows a very largebandwidth for transporting and managing a huge amount of information. The replace-ment of electronic by photonic means is forced by fundamental physical reasons thatlimit the information transmission rate using purely electronic means: as the frequencyof an electrical signal propagating through a conductor increases, the impedance ofthe conductor also increases, thus the propagation characteristics of the electrical cablebecome less favourable. That is the reason why electrical signals with frequencies above10 MHz must be carried by specially designed conductors, called coaxial cables, inorder to minimise the effect of a high attenuation. Figure 1.4 shows the attenuationin a typical coaxial cable as a function of the frequency. It can be seen that for hightransmission rates (∼100 MHz), the attenuation is so high (∼5 dB/Km) that commu-nications based on electrical signals propagating on coaxial cables can be used inapplications where the typical distances are tens of metres (buildings), but they are

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Figure 1.4 Attenuation of the electrical signal in a coaxial cable as a function of the modula-tion frequency

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1.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INTEGRATED PHOTONIC COMPONENTS 7

useless for distances greater than several kilometres (links between cities). In contrast,optical signals propagate through non-conducting dielectric media, operating in thewavelength range where the materials are highly transparent. For most optical materi-als used in optical communications and photonic devices, this transparent window fallsin the visible and near-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, which corre-sponds to light frequency in the range 150–800 THz, 106 times the frequency used inelectrical transmission!

Integrated photonic devices based on integrated optical circuits take advantage ofthe relatively short wavelength of the light in this range (0.5–2 µm), which allows thefabrication of miniature components using channel waveguides the size of microns. Thetechnology required to fabricate planar lightwave circuit components of such dimen-sions is therefore common in the well-established Micro-electronic technology, usingthe tools and techniques of the semiconductor industry.

The basic concept in optical integrated circuits is the same as that which operates inoptical fibres: the confinement of light. A medium that possesses a certain refractiveindex, surrounded by media with lower refractive indices, can act as a light trap,where the rays cannot escape from the structure due to the phenomena of total internalreflection at the interfaces. This effect confines light within high refractive index media,and can be used to fabricate optical waveguides that transport light from point to point,whether long distances (optical fibres) or in optical circuits (integrated photonic chips).Figure 1.5 shows the basic structures for the most common waveguide geometries.In a planar waveguide (Figure 1.5a) light is trapped by total internal reflection in afilm (dashed region), and therefore the film must have a refractive index greater thanthe refractive indices corresponding to the upper and lower media. These are usuallyreferred to as the cover and the substrate, respectively, and the film is called the core,because that is where most of the optical energy is concentrated.

In a channel waveguide the light propagates within a rectangular channel (the dashedregion in Figure 1.5b) which is embedded in a planar substrate. To confine light withinthe channel it is necessary for the channel to have a refractive index greater thanthat of the substrate, and of course, greater than the refractive index of the uppermedium, which is usually air. This type of waveguide is the best choice for fabricatingintegrated photonic devices. Because the substrate is planar, the technology associatedwith integrated optical circuits is also called planar lightwave circuits (PLC).

Finally, Figure 1.5c shows the geometry of an optical fibre, which can be consid-ered as a cylindrical channel waveguide. The central region of the optical fibre or coreis surrounded by a material called cladding. Of course, the core must have a higher

(a) (b) (c)

Figure 1.5 Basic waveguide geometries: (a) planar waveguide; (b) channel waveguide;(c) optical fibre

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8 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

refractive index than the cladding in order to trap light within the structure after totalinternal reflection.

In both channel waveguides and optical fibres the confinement of optical radiationtakes place in two dimensions, in contrast to planar waveguides where there is only lightconfinement in a single direction. This fact allows light in planar waveguides to diffractin the plane of the film, whereas in the case of channel waveguides and fibres diffractionis avoided, forcing the light propagation to occur only along the structure’s main axis.

Three generations can be distinguished in the evolution of optical systems, from con-ventional optical systems to integrated optical circuits (Table 1.2). The first generationconcerns conventional optical systems, where the optical components with sizes of theorder of centimetres were set on optical benches typically with dimensions of metres,while the optical beams had diameters of the order of several millimetres. A secondgeneration in the evolution of optical systems can be called micro-optics. Its maincharacteristic is the use of miniature optical components such as light emitting diodes,diode lasers, multi-mode fibres, etc. These components are clearly a transition towardsthe devices used nowadays in modern communication systems based on optical fibres.Nevertheless, although the characteristics of micro-optic systems are satisfactory, thereare problems with the alignment and coupling between the components because of theirsmall size (of the order of millimetres). Furthermore, because of the critical alignment,the various optical components are not packed together, making the optical systemunstable. The last generation in optical systems concerns integrated photonics, andis based on optical circuits and components integrated in a single substrate. This, aswell as the small size of the optical components, is the key factor for the successof integrated photonic systems. This technology, with unique features with respect toprevious generations, possesses important advantages in terms of choice of materials,design, fabrication and performance characteristics. Some of the special features ofsystems based on integrated photonic technology are the following:

1. Functionality based on electromagnetic optics. The key elements in an integratedoptical device are monomode channel waveguides with width and depth typically ofthe order of microns, where the optical radiation propagates in a single mode. In thisway, while the optical systems of the first and second generation can be adequately

Table 1.2 Evolution of the optical systems technology and relevant characteristics [6]

First generation Second generation Third generation

Technology Conventionaloptics

Micro-optics Integrated photonics

Typical components Mirrors, prisms,lenses, gaslasers

LED, LD, tiny lenses,multi-mode fibres

Monomode channelwaveguides, LD,monomode fibres

Alignment Necessary Necessary (hard) UnnecessaryPropagation Beam Beams in multi-mode

waveguidesMonomode

waveguides (µm)Control electrode size 1 cm 1 mm 1 µmDevice size 1 m2 10 cm2 1 cm2 (on a 1 mm

thick substrate)

Note: LED: light emitting diode; LD: laser diode.

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1.3 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INTEGRATED PHOTONIC COMPONENTS 9

treated by ray optics because of the wide diameters of the optical beams (com-pared to the wavelength of the light), integrated optical devices must be analysedconsidering the propagating light as electromagnetic waves.

2. Stable alignment. A key factor in the good performance of an optical system is theadjustment and alignment of the various optical components, which is critical anddifficult to achieve for conventional optical systems. In contrast, in integrated pho-tonic devices, once the optical chip has been fabricated, the alignment problem isavoided and stability is assured. Furthermore, the device is stable against vibrationsor thermal changes. This characteristic, which is the most relevant feature in inte-grated photonic devices, is assured because all the optical elements are integratedin a single substrate.

3. Easy control of the guided modes. Because the waveguides are monomode, it iseasier to control the optical radiation flux through the electro-optic, acousto-optic,thermo-optic or magneto-optic effects, or even by the light itself via non-linear inter-actions. If the waveguides were multi-mode, this control by external fields wouldbe much more complicated, because of the different propagation characteristics ofeach modal field.

4. Low voltage control. For devices based on light control via the electro-optic effect,the short width of the channel waveguides allows one to drastically reduce thedistance between the control electrodes. This implies that the voltage required toobtain a certain electric field amplitude can be considerably reduced. For example,while the typical voltage for electro-optic control in conventional optical systems isof the order of several KV, in integrated optic devices the voltage required is onlya few volts.

5. Faster operation. The small size of the control electrodes in an electro-optic inte-grated photonic device implies low capacitance, and this allows for a faster switchingspeed and higher modulation bandwidth. Typical modulations of 40 Gbit/s are easilyachieved using lithium niobate, polymers or InP-based devices.

6. Effective acousto-optic interactions. Since the field distributions of surface acousticwaves (SAW) are located within a distance of a few wavelengths beneath the sub-strate surface (tens of microns), the SAW and the optical waveguide modes overlapstrongly, giving rise to efficient acoustooptic interactions. Thus, using SAW gen-erated by piezotransducers, high performance integrated optical devices based onacoustooptic effect can be developed.

7. High optical power density. Compared with conventional optical beams, the opti-cal power density in a monomode channel waveguide is very high, due to thesmall cross-sectional area of the guide. This is of special relevance in the per-formance of devices requiring high radiation intensity, such as frequency convert-ers (via non-linear effects) or even optical amplifiers and lasers. These devicesare therefore very efficient when designed and fabricated with integrated pho-tonic technology.

8. Compact and low weight. The use of a single substrate with an area of severalmillimetres squared for integrating different photonic components makes the opticalchip very compact and very light weight.

9. Low cost. The development of integration techniques makes mass production pos-sible via lithographic techniques and mask replication; also, the planar technologyreduces the quantity of material necessary to fabricate the photonic devices. These

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10 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

aspects are the basis of a low cost device and thus an easy introduction intothe market.

1.4 Integrated Photonics Technology

The technology and fabrication methods associated with integrated optical circuits andcomponents are very varied, in addition, they depend on the substrate material withwhich the optical device is fabricated. The methods most widely used in the definitionof optical circuits over a substrate are diffusion techniques (such as titanium diffusionin lithium niobate) and deposition techniques (such as chemical vapour deposition usedfor silica). Since the lateral dimensions of the optical circuits are only a few microns,the fabrication technology needs photolithographic processes. In the case of diffusiontechniques it is possible to use photolithographic masks to define open channels throughwhich the diffused material enters the substrate, or, alternatively, one can deposit thepreviously patterned material to be diffused directly onto the substrate. For waveguidesfabricated by deposition techniques the lateral definition of the optical circuits is usuallycarried out by means of etching after the deposition of the material onto the wholesubstrate surface.

Optical integration can expand in two directions: serial integration and parallel inte-gration. In serial integration for optical communication devices the different elementsof the optical chip are consecutively interconnected: laser and driver, modulator anddriver electronics, and detector and receiver electronics. In parallel integration, the chipis built by bars of amplifiers, bars of detectors and wavelength (de)multiplexors. Also,a combination of these two architectures should incorporate optical cross-connectsand add-drop modules. The highest level of integration (whether serial or parallel)is achieved in monolithic integration, where all the optical elements including lightsources, light control, electronics and detectors are incorporated in a single substrate.The most promising materials to achieve full monolithic integration are semiconductormaterials, in particular GaAs and InP. In hybrid integration technology, the optical chipfabricated on a single substrate controls the optical signals, while additional elementssuch as lasers or detectors are built on different substrates and are directly attached tothe integrated photonic device or interconnected by optical fibres. Examples of hybridtechnologies include dielectric substrates, such as glasses, silica or ferro-electric crys-tals. The case of silica on silicon can be considered as quasi-hybrid integration, in thesense that optical components, electronics and detector can be implemented in a singlesubstrate, but not the light source.

All integrated photonic devices require input/output optical signals carried by opticalfibres. Indeed, one of the most difficult tasks in packaging an integrated optical device isattaching the fibres to the chip waveguides, known as fibre pigtails. The fibre alignmentis typically 0.1 micron or less for low power loss, where the optical chip surfaces shouldbe carefully polished at odd angles to eliminate back reflection from the interface.This alignment must be maintained during the attachment and also through subsequentthermal transitions as well as in shock and vibration-prone environments while thedevice is operating.

Lithography replicates a prototype from chip to chip or from substrate to substrate.Although a lithographic system for fabricating photonic devices uses the same toolsas in semiconductor electronics, there are some important differences. First, while in

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1.4 INTEGRATED PHOTONICS TECHNOLOGY 11

electronics, bends and interconnections affect the maximum data rates, in photoniccircuits the major impact is on optical power throughput. Second, while electronsstrongly interact with each other, photons can exist even in the same circuit withoutinteracting. As a consequence, integrated circuits in electronics usually have an overallsquare geometry, with multiple layers to enable the cross-over of electrical signals,while integrated optical chips tend to have a single layer and an elongated geometrywith unidirectional flow to minimise bending of the optical path.

Although there is a great number of lithographically processable materials that canbe used to fabricate optical waveguides, only a few of them have shown the requiredcharacteristics to develop integrated optical devices. These include a wide range ofglasses, crystals and semiconductors (Table 1.3). In particular, the substrates mostcommonly used are glasses, lithium niobate, silica on silicon, III-V semiconductorcompounds and polymers. Each type of material has its own advantages and disadvan-tages, and the choice of a specific substrate depends on the particular application ofthe photonic device. Nowadays there exists a great variety of devices based on eachof these materials.

The glass-based integrated optical devices have the great advantage of the low costof the starting material and the fabrication technique, mainly performed by an ionicexchange process [7]. The method used for producing waveguides in glass substrates

Table 1.3 Materials technology for integrated photonic devices

Substrate Materialproperties

Waveguidetechnology

Advantages Demonstrateddevices

Multi-componentsGlasses

Low price Rareearthsincorporation

Ionic exchange Easy and cheapfabricationLow losses

Passive devicesAmplifiers

SiOxNy:SiO2:SiTiO2/SiO2/Si

Cheap andversatilefabrication

ThermaloxidationCVD, FHD,ECR, Sol-gel

VersatilityMicroelec-tronictechnology

Passive devicesTO switchesAWG

Lithium niobate Electro-opticAcousto-opticNon-linearBi-refringent

MetallicdiffusionProtonicexchange

Easy control oflightAnisotropic

SwitchesModulatorsCouplersWDM andDWDM

III-V compounds(InP, GaAs)

Electro-optic Lightsource LightdetectionElectronics

Epitaxy (MBE,LPE, CVD,MOCVD)

High level ofintegration

ModulatorsAmplifiersLasers AWG

Polymers Electro-opticsThermo-opticsNon linear

Spin coatingDip Coating

High versatilityWide rangeof physicalproperties

Chemical andbiologicalsensors TOswitches EOModulators

Notes: CVD: chemical vapour deposition; FHD: flame hydrolysis deposition; ECR: electron cyclotron reso-nance; MBE: molecular beam epitaxy; LPE: liquid phase epitaxy; MOCVD: metal-organic chemical vapourdeposition; TO: thermo-optic; AWG: arrayed waveguide grating; WDM: wavelength division multiplexing;DWDM: dense WDM; EO: electro-optic.

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12 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

is the exchange of alkali ions from the glass matrix (usually Na+ ions) for monovalentcations such as K+, Ag+, Cs+ or Tl+, immersing the glass substrate in a molten saltthat contains some of these ions at temperatures in the range 200–500◦C, dependingon the type of glass and the particular salt. For defining the optical circuits, a stoppingmask is deposited onto the substrate, in such a way that the ionic exchange takes placeonly in the channels opened in the mask. This mask is removed after the exchangeprocess. The refractive index increase due to the ionic exchange depends both onthe glass composition and on the exchanged ions, and typically varies in the range0.01 to 0.1. Since the glasses are amorphous materials, they do not present physicalproperties useful for the direct control of light, and therefore they are used mainly forthe fabrication of passive devices.

One of the materials most widely used in the fabrication of integrated opticaldevices is lithium niobate (LiNbO3) [8]. This is due to several characteristics of thiscrystalline material. In the first place, LiNbO3 presents very interesting physical proper-ties: in particular, it has valuable acousto-optic, electro-optic and piezo-electric effects.These properties allow the fabrication of functional devices such as phase modulators,switches, directional couplers, multiplexors, etc. Besides being a birefringent material,LiNbO3 shows high non-linear optical coefficients, and these two properties permitvery efficient frequency conversion, such as second harmonic generation and opti-cal parametric oscillation. Furthermore, several techniques for waveguide fabricationin LiNbO3 are now well established, including Ti or Zn metallic diffusion, protonicexchange, or even ion implantation. The resulting waveguides have very low losses,typically in the range of 0.01–0.2 dB/cm. Integrated optical circuits technology basedon LiNbO3 substrates is now very well established, and a great variety of devicesbased on this technology, mainly in the field of optical communications, are nowcommercially available.

The main advantage of silica over silicon-based photonic waveguides is the lowprice and the good optical quality of the silicon substrates, besides being a well-knownmaterial with a long tradition, and the experience developed from micro-electronic tech-nology. The first step in waveguide fabrication using silicon substrates is the depositionof a silicon dioxide layer a few microns thick, which can also be obtained by directoxidation of the silicon at high temperature. This layer has a double purpose: to pro-vide a low index region for allowing light confinement, and also to move away thehighly absorbing silicon substrate. For this reason this layer is called a buffer layer.The waveguide core is formed by further deposition of a high index oxynitride layer,usually via the chemical vapour deposition method (CVD) or the flame hydrolysisdeposition (FHD) method [9]. The refractive index of the oxynitride core, SiOxNy, canbe continuously varied in the range 1.45–2.1 by controlling the relative concentrationof SiO2 and Si3N4 compounds during the deposition. As the SiO2 buffer layer has arefractive index of 1.45, a very high index contrast between the waveguide core andthe surrounding media can be obtained. The most appealing feature of silicon as asubstrate in integrated photonics is the possibility of integrating the detector and theassociated electronic in a single platform substrate.

Perhaps, second to LiNbO3 the III–V semiconductor compounds (mainly GaAsand InP) are the substrates with greatest impact on integrated optics technology, andare probably the materials with the most promising future in this field [10, 11]. Theimportance of the III–V compounds in integrated photonics derives from the fact that

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1.5 BASIC INTEGRATED PHOTONIC COMPONENTS 13

they offer the possibility of a high level of monolithic integration. Indeed, InP is a veryversatile platform that promises large-scale integration of active components (lasers anddetectors), passive components, and also electronics. The electronic technology of thesesemiconductor materials is now well established, and optical waveguide fabrication isquite straightforward by modifying the dopant concentration during the depositionprocess, Al in the case of GaAs, and Ga or As in the case of InP. The main problemconcerning this technology has its roots in the relatively high losses of waveguidesmade of these materials (>1 dB/cm). Nevertheless, the fabrication technology in InPis rapidly improving, and several integrated photonic devices that show very highperformance are now available in the market, such as semiconductor optical amplifiers,arrayed waveguide gratings or high speed modulators.

Among the materials suitable for integrated photonic technology, polymers occupy aspecial position, due to the fact that they exhibit some very useful physical properties,such as electro-optic, piezo-electric and non-linear effects, with values even higherthat those of lithium niobate crystals [12]. Also, the thermo-optic coefficient for poly-mers is more than ten times higher than the corresponding coefficients for silica. Thewaveguide fabrication method for polymers starts from a solution of the polymericmaterial, followed by a deposition by spin coating or dip coating on a substrate. Dueto their easy processing, the polymer layers allow for great flexibility when choos-ing a substrate; they are compatible with very different substrates such as glasses,silicon dioxide, or even silicon and indium phosphide. The choice of a particular poly-meric material should take into consideration some important properties such as hightransparency, easy processing, and high physical, chemical, mechanical and thermalstability. The main advantage of polymer-based integrated optical devices is their highpotential for use in the field of chemical and biological sensors, because the organicgroups in the polymeric compound can be designed and tailored to react against aspecific medium. Also, due to the large electro-optic coefficient showed by some poly-mers, high speed and low voltage switches and modulators have been developed forthe telecommunication market, offering high performance at low cost.

1.5 Basic Integrated Photonic Components

As in electronics, in integrated photonics there are some basic components commonto most of the integrated optical devices. Although in essence all these componentsbasically perform the same functions as their corresponding devices in conventionaloptics, the operating principles are usually quite different, and thus their design hasvery little to do with traditional optical components.

Although nowadays a long list of integrated photonic devices has been proposed,modelled and fabricated, and their number is quickly increasing, the basic compo-nents remain almost unchanged. Therefore it is possible to describe a short list of suchcomponents, basic blocks from which much more complex integrated optical devicescan be built. We will now briefly outline some of the most common components, andwe will show the dramatic change in design concept of integrated photonic devicescompared to conventional optical components performing the same function. The maindifference in design comes from the fact that while in conventional optics the operationprinciple is based on the behaviour of the light considered as plane waves or rays, inintegrated optics the modelling and performance of the devices should be treated using

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14 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

the formalism of electromagnetic waves; this is because the size of the beams is ofthe order of the light’s wavelength, typically in the range of microns. In fact, opticalpropagation in integrated photonic devices is conveyed through optical channels withdimensions of a few micrometres, both in depth and in width. Channel waveguides aredefined in a single plane substrate, and other related elements (electrodes, piezoele-ments, heaters, etc.) are mounted on the same substrate, giving rise to a robust andcompact photonic device. Unless otherwise stated, all the basic components that wewill now describe will be based on monomode channel waveguides.

All the optical components in integrated photonics are constructed with three buildingblocks. They are the straight waveguide, the bend waveguide and the power splitter.Using these building blocks, several basic components have been developed to performbasic optical functions. In addition, a particular function can be executed using differentelements, whose design may differ substantially. This versatility in optical elementconception is one of the special features of integrated photonic technology. Now, weshall discuss several of these basic blocks and optical elements that perform some basicfunctions common in many integrated optical devices.

• Interconnect. This basic element serves to connect optically two points of a photonicchip (Figure 1.6a). The straight channel waveguide (Figure 1.6b), being the simpleststructure for guiding light, interconnects different elements which are aligned on theoptical chip. It can also act as a spatial filter, maintaining a Gaussian-like modethroughout the chip architecture. In order to interconnect different elements whichare not aligned with the optical axis of the chip, a bend waveguide is needed, andtherefore a bend waveguide is often called an offset waveguide (Figure 1.6c). Theseare also used to space channel waveguides at the chip endfaces, so that multiplefibres may be attached to it.

• Power splitter 1 × 2. A power splitter 1 × 2 is usually a symmetric element whichequally divides power from a straight waveguide between two output waveguides(Figure 1.6d). The simplest version of a power splitter is the Y-branch (Figure 1.6e),which is easy to design and relatively insensitive to fabrication tolerances. Neverthe-less, the curvature radii of the two branches, as well as the junction, must be carefullydesigned in order to avoid power losses. Also, if the two branches are separated bytilted straight waveguides, the tilt angle must be small, typically a few degrees. Adifferent version of a power splitter is the multi-mode interference element (MMI,Figure 1.6f). This name comes from the multi-modal character of the wide waveg-uide region where the power split takes place. The advantage of this design is theshort length of the MMI compared to that of the Y-branch. Although the dimensionsof the MMI are not critical, allowing wide tolerances, this element must be designedfor a particular wavelength. The two power splitters which have been described aresymmetric, and thus 50% of the input power was carried by each output waveguide.Nevertheless, asymmetric splitters can also be designed for specific purposes. Inaddition, it is possible to fabricate splitters with N output waveguides, and in thatcase the element is called a 1 × N splitter.

• Waveguide reflector. The waveguide reflector performs the task of reflecting back thelight in a straight waveguide (Figure 1.6g). The simplest method of performing thistask is to put a metallic mirror at the end of the channel waveguide (Figure 1.6h).If one needs the reflection to occurs only for a particular wavelength, a multi-stack dielectric mirror is used. Another way of building a waveguide reflector is

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1.5 BASIC INTEGRATED PHOTONIC COMPONENTS 15

Waveguide reflector

Input

Output

Mirror

Grating

Input Output

Interconnect(a) (b)

(c)

(d)

(g) (h)

(i)

(e)

(f)Output

Power splitter 1 × 2

InputMMI

Y-branch

S-bend

Straight

Directional coupler

Inputs Outputs

Directional coupler

Coupling region

(j) (k)

Polarisation beam splitter

Input Output

TE/TM

TMTE

Anisotropic directionalcoupler

Anisotropic substrate

TE/TM

TMTE

(n) (o)

(l) (m)

Input Output

Polariser

TE/TM TE

TE/TM Metal

TE

Figure 1.6 Integrated photonics elements

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16 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

Phase modulator

Input Output

Intensity modulator

Input Output

Mach-Zehnderinterferometer

EO phase modulator

(p)

(r)

(t)

(v) (w)

(u)

(s)

(q)

Input Output

Frequency shifter

f0 f0 + fSAW

f0 + fSAW

fSAW

AO frequency shifter

f0

SAW transducer

EO-TE/TM converter

TE TMInput Output

TE/TM converter

TE TM

Figure 1.6 (continued )

to implement a grating in a region of the straight waveguide (Figure 1.6i). Thegrating is inherently a wavelength selective element, and thus the grating periodmust be calculated for the specific working wavelength. The reflection coefficientof the grating depends on the length of the grating region and on the modulationrefractive index depth. The wavelength selectivity of the grating is also used fordesigning waveguide filters working under Bragg condition. Besides this, the gratingin integrated photonics can be used as an optical element for performing a widerange of functions such as focusing, deflection, coupling and decoupling light in thewaveguide, feedback in an integrated laser, sensors, etc.

• Directional coupler. This element has two input ports and two output ports(Figure 1.6j), and is composed of two closely spaced waveguides (Figure 1.6k).The working principle of the coupler is based on the periodical optical powerexchange that occurs between two adjacent waveguides through the overlappingof the evanescent waves of the propagating modes. This effect is described by

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1.5 BASIC INTEGRATED PHOTONIC COMPONENTS 17

the coupled mode formalism described in Chapter 4. By setting design parameters,including waveguide spacing and coupler length, the ratio of powers between thetwo output ports may be set during the fabrication process to be between zero and 1.

• Polariser. A waveguide polariser allows to pass light having a well defined polar-isation character, either TE or TM light, by filtering one of them (Figure 1.6l).The fabrication of a waveguide polariser is as simple as depositing a metallic filmonto a waveguide (Figure 1.6m): the light propagating along the waveguide withits electric field perpendicular to the substrate plane (TM mode) is strongly attenu-ated because of the resonant coupling with the superficial plasmon modes. In thisway, at the waveguide output, only light with TE polarisation is present. As the TEmode also suffers some attenuation, the nature of the metal as well as the metallicfilm length must be carefully chosen in order to obtain a high polarisation ratio,while maintaining a high enough TE light power. An alternative way of obtaining awaveguide polariser is to design a waveguide that supports only TE polarised modes.These are obtained, for example, in lithium niobate waveguides fabricated by theprotonic exchange method. In this fabrication process, while the extraordinary indexincreases, the ordinary index decreases, thus forming a waveguide that supports onlyextraordinary polarised modes.

• Polarisation beam splitter. In some integrated optical devices, it is necessary todivide the input light into its two orthogonal polarisation, TE and TM, in two sepa-rate waveguide output ports (Figure 1.6n). Figure 1.6o shows an integrated opticalelement based on a lithium niobate substrate, which performs this function: theintersecting waveguide operates as a directional coupler whose behaviour dependson the beat between odd-mode light and even-mode light for TE-mode and TM-modelight, respectively [13]. The TE-mode light propagates to the cross-output port andthe TM-mode light to the parallel output port. This polarisation selectivity is basedon the birefringence of LiNbO3. The length and the width of the intersecting regionmust be carefully controlled to obtain high extinction ratios of both polarisations,for a chosen wavelength.

• Phase modulator. An integrated optical phase modulator performs a controlled shifton the phase of a light beam (Figure 1.6p), and consists of a channel waveguidefabricated on a substrate with the possibility of changing its refractive index by meansof an externally applied field (thermal, acoustic, electric, etc.). The most commonphase modulator is based on the electro-optic effect: an electric field applied to anelectro-optic material, such as LiNbO3, induces a change in its refractive index. Ifthe electric field is applied through a channel waveguide, the change in the refractiveindex induces a change in the propagation constant of the propagating mode, andtherefore the light travelling through that region undergoes a certain phase shift(Figure 1.6q). The geometry of the electrodes and the voltage control depend onthe crystal orientation and on the device structure. For high modulation frequency aspecial electrode configuration is necessary, such as the travelling wave configurationor phase reversal electrodes configuration.

• Intensity modulator. One of the most important functions of an optical chip is theintensity modulation of light at very high frequencies (Figure 1.6r). One of the mostsimple ways to perform this task is to build an integrated Mach-Zehnder interferom-eter (MZI) on an electro-optic substrate (Figure 1.6s). The MZI starts with a channelmonomode waveguide, and then splits it in two symmetric branches by means of a

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18 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

Y-branch. After some distance, the two branches becomes parallel. The MZI contin-ues with a symmetric reverse Y-branch, and ends in a straight waveguide. If the MZIis exactly symmetric, the input light splits at the first Y-junction into the two parallelbranches, and then recombines constructively into the final straight waveguide. Onthe contrary, if in one of the interferometer’s arms the light suffers a phase shift of180◦, at the end of the second Y-branch the light coming from the two branches willrecombine out of phase, and will give rise to destructive interference, with no lightat the output. In practice, the phase shift in one arm is carried out via the electro-optic effect, by applying a voltage across the waveguide. By adequately choosingthe crystal orientation, polarisation, electrode geometry and applied voltage, a totalphase shift of 180◦ can be obtained for a specific wavelength.

• TE/TM mode converter. In a normal situation, TE and TM modes are orthogonal, andthen the power transfer between them cannot occur. Nevertheless, TE to TM con-version (Figure 1.6t) can be achieved by using electro-optic substrates, which musthave non-zero off-diagonal elements in the electro-optic coefficient matrix. If lithiumniobate is used as a substrate, a periodic electrode is required because this crystals isbirefringent, and therefore the TE and TM modes have different effective refractiveindices (propagation speeds) (Figure 1.6u). By combining phase modulators and aTE/TM converter, a fully integrated polarisation controller can be built.

• Frequency shifter. Frequency shifting in integrated optics (Figure 1.6v) can beperformed by means of the acousto-optic effect. An acoustic surface wave (SAW)generated by a piezo-electric transducer, creates a Bragg grating in the acousto-optic substrate that interacts with the propagating light in a specially designedregion, giving rise to diffracted light that is frequency-shifted by the Dopplereffect (Figure 1.6w). This frequency shift corresponds to the frequency of theacoustic wave.

1.6 Some Examples of Integrated Photonics Devices

The optical elements that can be found in an optical chip can be classified accordingto their function as passive, functional, active and non-linear. A passive optical ele-ment has fixed input/output characteristics, which are determined when the photoniccomponent is fabricated. Examples of these are the power splitter, waveguide reflec-tor, directional coupler, polariser, and polarisation beam splitter. Functional opticalelements are photonic components which are driven by externally applied fields (forexample, electric, acoustic or thermal). The above described phase modulator, inten-sity modulator, frequency converter and electro-optic TE/TM converter fall into thiscategory. Although some authors call these devices active devices, we will keep thename “active devices” for photonic components that perform functions such as opticalamplification and laser oscillation. This choice of nomenclature is due to the fact thatthey use active impurities such as rare earths embedded in the waveguide structure, toobtain light amplification (or oscillation) via a luminescence process after optical (orelectrical) pumping. The integrated optical amplifier and the integrated laser are twoexamples of active devices. Finally, some integrated optical devices make use of thenon-linearity of certain materials to perform frequency doubling or optical parametricoscillation, where the optical chip’s function is to generate new frequencies via a non-linear optical process. Since the efficiency of non-linear processes is proportional to the

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1.6 SOME EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATED PHOTONICS DEVICES 19

l1 .... lnl1....ln

Input waveguides

Slab waveguides

Output waveguides

Arrayed waveguides

Figure 1.7 The arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) is one example of a passive integratedphotonics device, used for dense wavelength demultiplexing

light intensity, these devices yield a very good performance in the integrated photonicversion, because of the small transverse area of the waveguide propagating beams.

Figure 1.7 shows an example of a passive integrated photonic device, in which noexternal signal is needed for its operation. This device is called an arrayed waveguidegrating (AWG, PHASAR or waveguide grating router, WGR); its function is to pas-sively multiplex or demultiplex signals of closely spaced wavelengths, and it is used infibre optical communication systems [14]. Several wavelengths coming through a sin-gle fibre enter the AWG via any of its input waveguides. A coupler splits light betweenmany of the curved waveguides which define the AWG. The arrayed waveguides areformed by waveguides having different lengths, and therefore light suffers differentphase shift for each curved waveguide. By precisely adjusting the phase shift fromeach curved waveguide with respect to all the others, an interferometric pattern is setup that results in light of different wavelengths being focused at different spatial loca-tion on an output arc. Since the AWG distribute signals according to their wavelength,each individual waveguide output corresponds to a specific wavelength, thereby actingas a demultiplexor.

An example of a functional device, which also combines some passive elementsis the acousto-optic tuneable filter (AOTF) (Figure 1.8) [15]. This integrated opticaldevice requires an external radio-frequency (RF) control signal to selectively separateone or more wavelength signals (drop signals). This device is fabricated with LiNbO3

and is composed of a piezo-transducer, a thin film acoustic waveguide and two polar-isation beam splitters. The multi-wavelength input signals propagate over the opticalwaveguide and are divided into their perpendicular components (TE/TM) by the firstpolarisation beam splitter (PBS). Surface acoustic waves (SAW), generated by apply-ing an RF signal to the transducer, travel through the SAW guide and cause a periodicmodulation of the optical waveguide’s refractive index. The periodic refractive indexchange induces TE–TM or TM–TE conversion for the drop wavelength only. Thedrop wavelength corresponds to the applied RF frequency and becomes perpendicularto the incident light. The second PBS is then used to separate the drop wavelength

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20 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

from the incident light. By using several RF signals simultaneously, it is even possibleto drop several wavelengths.

Several substrate materials compatible with integrated photonic technology are alsosuitable to incorporate optically active rare earth ions, which makes it possible tofabricate active integrated optical devices [16]. Figure 1.9 shows the arrangement of anintegrated optical amplifier based on Erbium and Ytterbium ions. It basically consistsof a straight waveguide, which has rare earth ions incorporated to it, an undopedwaveguide and a directional coupler. The input pumping at 980 nm is injected into theundoped waveguide, and the coupler transfers the pump energy to the doped straightwaveguide. Via several radiative, non-radiative and energy transfer mechanisms whichtakes place on the Erbium and Ytterbium ions, the feeble input signal at 1533 nm

TMTE

TM

TETM

TE

TMTE

SAW Dropsignal

RFsignalf3

Polarisationbeam splitter

Piezo-transducer

Thin film SAW guide

LiNbO3l1, l2, l3

l1, l2

l3

Figure 1.8 The integrated acousto-optic tuneable filter uses polarisation conversion, via theinteraction between the light guide modes and the surface acoustic waves generated by apiezo-electric transducer, to spatially separate any of the selected input wavelengths (drop sig-nals). Since the device is externally controlled by the RF frequency applied to the transducer,this is one example of a functional integrated photonic device

Coupler

980 nm pump

Amplified1533 nm signal 1533 nm signal

Glass substrate

Er3+/Yb3+ doped waveguide

Figure 1.9 The integrated optical amplifier based on rare earths is one example of activeintegrated photonic chips

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1.7 STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK 21

Pump

Channel waveguide Periodically inverted region

Signalandidler

Dielectric mirrors

LiNbO3 substrate

Figure 1.10 The high optical non-linear coefficients of LiNbO3 crystals make this substratesuitable for developing non-linear integrated photonic devices, such as the optical parametricoscillator presented here. Also, for high efficiency conversion, it is necessary to fabricate aperiodically poled region along the waveguide structure

is amplified as it propagates along the straight waveguide. If a couple of dielectricmirrors are attached at the two waveguide ends, the amplified signal can oscillate, andtherefore an integrated laser can be obtained. The end mirrors can also be replaced byintegrated gratings, acting as a true wavelength-selective reflector.

Integrated optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) in ferro-electric crystals have beenidentified as the most useful tuneable non-linear frequency converters with manyapplications, mainly in environmental sensing and process monitoring. These non-linear integrated photonic devices are based on ferro-electric materials showing highvalues of second order nonlinearities, and are capable of obtaining a periodic inversionof the ferroelectric domains. Figure 1.10 presents the design of an optical parametricoscillator in its integrated optical version: a straight channel waveguide is fabricatedon a z-cut LiNbO3 substrate, where a periodically poled region has been patternedperpendicular to the waveguide [17]. The two dielectric mirrors, directly attached tothe waveguide ends, allow parametric oscillation at the signal and idler frequencies,which are created from the input pump via non-linear optical interactions. For efficientoptical parametric oscillation the crystal orientation must be adequately chosen, as wellas the periodicity of the ferro-electric domain structure.

1.7 Structure of the Book

The rest of the book has been divided into four chapters and some appendices. Thisfirst chapter aimed to present an overview of integrated photonic technology, stressingthe radical conceptual change of photonic chips compared to traditional optical sys-tems. Although several technical terms have been used throughout this chapter (modes,coupling, TE/TM conversion, etc.) without a rigorous definition, they will be furtherstudied in subsequent chapters. Chapter 2 gives the basic EM theory necessary fordeveloping and understanding light behaviour in waveguide structures, starting fromMaxwell’s equations. The theory of optical waveguides is introduced in Chapter 3.

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22 1 INTRODUCTION TO INTEGRATED PHOTONICS

For a correct description of light in waveguide structures having dimensions compa-rable to its wavelength, the light must be contemplated as EM waves. Therefore, thewaveguide theory discussed in Chapter 3 is based on the EM theory of light, wherethe important concept of optical waveguide mode is introduced. In this chapter westart analysing the planar waveguide structure, where the most relevant concepts areexplained. Also, once one-dimensional waveguides are studied (planar waveguides), wefocus our attention on the theory of guided modes in two-dimensional structures suchas channel waveguides, which are the basic elements in photonic integrated circuits.

Chapter 4 is devoted to the coupling theory of modes in optical waveguides. Theunderstanding of mode coupling is of vital importance for most integrated opticaldevices. This chapter includes the study of optical power transfer between waveguidemodes, whether it is energy transfer between co-directional or contradirectional prop-agating modes. Also, waveguide diffraction gratings are introduced in this chapter, asthey are key integrated photonic elements which offer an efficient and controllable wayof exchange power between waveguide modes.

Finally, Chapter 5 deals with the theory of light propagation in waveguide structures.The problem of optical propagation in waveguides is reducible to solve light paraxialpropagation in inhomogeneous media, where paraxial means propagation mainly alonga preferential direction. Although we will discuss several approaches to this problem,we will focus on the beam propagation algorithm, known as beam propagation method(BPM), which is a step-by-step method of simulating the passing of light through anywaveguiding medium, allowing us to track the optical field at any point as it propagatesalong guiding structures.

References

[1] T.H. Maiman, “Stimulated Optical Radiation in Ruby Masers”, Nature, 187, 493–494(1960).

[2] S.E. Miller, “Integrated Optics: An Introduction”, The Bell System Technical Journal, 48,2059–2068 (1969).

[3] N. Hairston, “Lithography Aids Integration of Optics”, Laser Focus World, 37, November2001, 93–98.

[4] M.A. Powell and A.O. Donnell, “What Integrated Optics is Really Used For”, Optics andPhotonics News, September 1997, 23–29.

[5] L. Gasman, “New Materials Renew Life for Integrated Optics”, WDM Solutions, November2001, 17–20.

[6] H. Nishihara, M. Haruna and T. Suhara, Optical Integrated Circuits. McGraw-Hill, NewYork (1985).

[7] S.I. Najafi, Introduction to Glass Integrated Optics, Artech House, Boston (1992).[8] A.M. Prokhorov, Y.S. Kuz’minov and O.A. Khachaturyan, Ferroelectric Thin-Film

Waveguides in Integrated Optics and Optoelectronics. Cambridge International SciencePublishing (1996).

[9] M. Kawachi, “Silica Waveguides on Silicon and their Application to Integrated-Optic Com-ponents”, Optical and Quantum Electronics, 22, 391–416 (1990).

[10] H. Volterra and M. Zimmerman, “Indium Phosphide Benefits High-Performance Transmis-sion”, WDM Solutions, October 2000, 47–49.

[11] K. Wakao, H. Soda and Y. Kotaki, “Semiconductor Optical Active Devices for PhotonicsNetworks”, FUJITSU Scientific and Technical Journal, 35, 100–106 (1999).

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FURTHER READING 23

[12] M. Cowin, “Manufacturers Poised to Profit from Polymeric Breakthroughs”, Fibre SystemsEurope, October 2001, 113–118.

[13] T. Nakazawa, S. Taniguchi and M. Seino, “Ti:LiNbO3 Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter(AOTF)”, FUJITSU Scientific and Technical Journal, 35, 107–112 (1999).

[14] M.K. Smit and C. van Dam, “Phasar Based WDM Devices: Principles, Design, and Appli-cations”, IEEE J. Select Topics in Quantum Electronics, 2, 236–250 (1996).

[15] T. Chikama, H. Onaka and S. Kuroyanagi, “Photonic Networking Using Optical Add DropMultiplexers and Optical Cross-Connects”, FUJITSU Scientific and Technical Journal, 35,46–55 (1999).

[16] J. Hubner, S. Guldberg-Kjaer, M. Dyngaard, Y. Shen, C.L. Thomsen, S. Balslev,C. Jensen, D. Zauner and T. Feuchter, “Planar Er- and Yb-Doped Amplifiers and Lasers”,Applied Physics B, 73, 435–438 (2001).

[17] D. Hofmann, H. Herrmann, G. Schreiber, W. Grundkotter, R. Ricken and W. Sohler,“Continuous-Wave Mid-Infrared Optical Parametric Oscillators with Periodically PoledTi:LiNbO3 Waveguide”, Proc. Europ. Conf. on Integrated Optics (ECIO’99), Turin/Italy,April 1999, post-deadline paper, 21–24.

Further Reading

Applied Physics B, Lasers and Optics 73, N. 5–6 (2001), special issue on Integrated Optics.Integrated Optical Circuits and Components: Design and Application, ed. by E.J. Murphy,

Marcel Dekker, New York, 1999.